Melissa, MBTI Marketing Manager
This year on World Introvert Day (Sunday, January 2), many people will be returning to the office on Monday. But many others will not (and not just because of the new variant).
Events of the past two years have turned regular work on its head.
And because of it, many people who prefer Introversion are living their best work-from-home lives.
Of course, there are unique challenges to working from home or working a hybrid schedule. But the benefits also seem to outweigh the costs for most Introverts.
But before we get into the best ways to make working from home work for you, what exactly is Introversion?Download and share the World Introvert Day infographic.
What is Introversion?
Introversion and Extraversion get a lot of airtime on social media and around the internet, but not everyone understands the actual definition of these terms.
In the words of TEDtalk speaker and MBTI expert Michael Segovia, “on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Extraversion and Introversion are defined in terms of how do we like and prefer to direct and receive energy. People who prefer Extraversion tend to act before thinking, they like to talk things through and tend to be more expressive when interacting and gain energy from that interaction.
“People who prefer Introversion tend to think before acting and spend time in internal reflection. They’re usually more contained when interacting with others. And they tend to gain energy by spending time alone concentrating.”
Extraversion and Introversion are not about sociability or social confidence. They’re also not about being shy or socially awkward.
In terms of our most recent global research from The Myers-Briggs Company, those who prefer Introversion make up 57.8% of our global sample. That’s about 4.42 billion people worldwide.
When it comes to the MBTI assessment results, there’re eight different personality types of people who prefer Introversion. If you include both Introverted and Extraverted types, there are 16 different 4-letter personality types, with each of the 4 letters describing different parts of the personality.
The first letter stands for how you get your energy (Extraversion or Introversion). The second letter stands for how you take in information or learn (Sensing or Intuition). The third letter stands for what information you rely on to make decisions (Thinking or Feeling). And the last letter is how you like to organize your world (Judging or Perceiving). The eight introverted MBTI types are:
ISTJ (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking and Judging)
ISFJ (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling and Judging)
INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Judging)
INTJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging)
ISTP (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking and Perceiving)
INTP (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Perceiving)
ISFP (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving)
INFP (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Perceiving)
The new work world: an Introvert’s paradise?
When those preferring Introversion can be themselves, and not have to ‘act like an Extravert’ during the work day, everyone is better off.
Introverts come into the office with more energy and feel less stressed, and are more likely to leave less drained at the end of the day.
And with more remote work available than ever, many Introverts have found that they can save their extraverted energy for meetings, and have much more quiet, focused time working than previously when they were in the office.
In a recent HushLoudly podcast in partnership with the Chicago State Foundation, introverted Executive Director Darrious Hilmon mentioned that not only was his productivity better when working from home (no traffic, less time spent getting ready for work), but being at home helps give him more ‘solo recharge time’ than he would normally have in the office.
And Darrrious isn’t alone in his experiences.
In a two-year study across 500 employees, Stanford’s Nicholas Bloom found that compared to employees working face-to-face, employees opting to go remote were 50% less likely to leave the company and had a 24% productivity boost, primarily because they didn’t have a commute and had far fewer interruptions.
All types have one part of their personality that’s often the strongest and most developed called the favorite function. Kind of like a personality superpower. For any person with an MBTI preference for Introversion (where their 4-letter MBTI type starts with I), their favorite function is going to be happening internally (in their mind). Their favorite function is going to be introverted.
The ISTJ and ISFJ personality types are practical, organized and thorough. They prefer a conventional workspace that they can keep neat and tidy and value storage solutions such as filing cabinets and trays to help them order and record their work.
With a favorite function of Introverted Sensing, they’re quiet and keep themselves focused on the task so may use walls and furniture to create their own defined area of the office.
Favorite function: Introverted SensingPeople with this favorite function internally focus on information they gain from previous experience, taken in through their 5 senses.
Value: Order, organization and lots of storage space
Dislike: Having to move desks or locations
The INFJ and INTJ personality types are creative and conceptual, and value workspaces that give them the opportunity to reflect and form thoughts in their heads. They enjoy gadgets and interesting objects to inspire original thinking.
With a favorite function of introverted Intuition, they won’t appreciate others in the office being loud and distracting and are likely to gravitate towards a quiet area in the office to think if they can’t find it at their desk.
Favorite function: introverted Intuition
People with this favorite function internally focus on processing information, figuring out deeper meanings and connections or symbolism represented by the information.
Value: Quiet areas and new gadgets that spark creativity
Dislike: Loud work environments
Independent, detached and objective, ISTPs and INTPs like to have their own desk or work area but are unfazed by the close proximity of co-workers.
With a favorite function of introverted Thinking, their workspace may appear cluttered and untidy, but this is organized chaos for them. They’ll know the precise location of the document or file they need. Storage isn’t a priority.
Favorite function: introverted Thinking
People with this favorite function internally focus on applying systematic analysis to information. They want to ensure consistency and precision, and compare the data they observe to internal frameworks.
Value: Their own desk and a quiet work environment
Dislike: ‘Clear desk’ policies
Although caring and compassionate, ISFPs and INFPs usually like to work alone but will surround themselves with a collection of personal mementoes.
With a favorite function of introverted Feeling, office partitions are ideal. Not only do partitions to keep the noise and distraction of others at a distance, but also to provide a surface to keep those special items that mean something to them personally.
Favorite function: introverted Feeling
People with this favorite function internally focus on comfort or discomfort, looking to only make decisions that are consistent with the core values they hold.
Value: Personalizing their workspace
Dislike: Having too many people around and loud work environments
Want to learn more about Introversion and the new world of work? Download the World Introvert Day: The new work world & how to make it work for you infographic here.
Do you manage people at work? Whether you prefer Introversion or Extraversion, it helps to understand the difference and recognize your own biases. Download the tip sheet Introversion 2.0: Reshaping the way we work here.
Find our your own MBTI personality type by taking the official MBTI assessment here, or explore career options that fit your personality type here. Or if you'd like your whole team to improve using MBTI personality insights, check out MBTIOnline Teams.